W139 Tracksuit, San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala

2008 – 2009

Track suit-The first prototype tracksuit Feb 23, 2009.

To celebrate their 30th anniversary, W139, an artist-run space in Amsterdam, Netherlands commissioned Associate Professor and DEED co-founder Pascale Gatzen and Ajkem’a Loy’a to produce a “W139 tracksuit”. Working over several months, Pascale and the artisans of Ajkem’a Loy’a experimented with weaving and pattern prototypes to collaboratively develop women’s and men’s tracksuits. Funding also supported workshops in basic computer and email usage for the artisans and run in Guatemala, led by DEED director Cynthia Lawson.

To finalize the tracksuits, Pascale and students from the Fashion area of study in the Integrated Design program at Parsons cut and hand-sewed the 8 limited edition tracksuits – embroidering the back panels of the top with the names of all the artisans and students who worked on the project.

Artisan Group
Ajkem’a Loy’a


Alexa Stark, Parsons, Integrated Design
Isabella Amstrup, Parsons, Integrated Design
Andrea Diodati, Parsons, Integrated Design
Colleen Schaffer, Parsons, Integrated Design


Pascale Gatzen, Associate Professor of Fashion Design, Parsons
Cynthia Lawson, Associate Professor of Integrated Design, Parsons


W139 – Commisioned the track suits


the first prototype tracksuit

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possibilities 2

close-up of one of the experiments of Catherina the experiments of Catherina with the W for the top part of the pants Sandra experimenting with a dark color and more full figures

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combining possiblities

new colors 139 sleeve combination top/trousers

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a design that Romelia and Cindy collaborated on all women are weaving real size now, no more small experiments Gloria and I collaborate on a design for the sleeves of the top Gloria, Cindy and Romelia weaving in Sandra’s yard  Romelia weaving the newly designed 139 pattern different experiments by … Continued

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Designing 139

In the afternoon, from 2pm to 6pm, I work with the other women of Ajkem’a Loy’a, Sandra, Romelia, Catherina, Ruth, Gloria, Hilda y Cindy experimenting with weaving. At 4 pm Telma brings us cookies from her bakery and we drink coca cola.

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Sewing and pattern making

Every morning from 9am to 12 pm, I work with Mayda in the shop of Ajkem’a Loy’a, designing the shape, making the patterns and sewing the prototypes for the track suit.

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Experiments with the W of W139

Romelia’s design of the W Catherina’s first experiment Telma and Catherina discussing the design of the figure W

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The first weaving experiments

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A track suit for W139

In the coming two weeks the women of Ajkem’a Loy’a and I will develop the first proto type of a track suit for W139. W139, one of the main art spaces in Amsterdam, started as an artist run space in 1979.  In October 2009, W139 will celebrate it’s 30st birthday . … Continued

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A great week in San Lucas Toliman

Today was my last day working with Ajkem’a Loy’a this week. I traveled with a grant from W139 to teach them how to use the internet. A paper-based workshop to explain what the internet and email were, started off the week with a holistic understanding even before sitting in front … Continued

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